After thoroughly analyzing all the questionable media I consumed over 24 hours. I was shocked to detect how plagued my Twitter timeline is with misinformation. I honestly thought my efforts to narrow down which media sites I read from daily would prevent my consumption of misinformation. I learned that you cannot always control what your peers or followers promote and go along with on the internet.
I woke up later than usual this morning after flying in from covering the ASU men’s basketball team in March Madness, so that prompted me to begin my day by checking my phone for notifications. The first notification I encountered was a questionable email titled “Congrats ALFRED,” which read as if I had won or been awarded something but upon reading, it was an opportunity to win a blender. The email was spam and contained no essential or valuable information.
Once I finished a round of homework, I jumped on Twitter to check my timeline and encountered a tweet with no link or source added that stated in Florida, a “ban on gender transitioning for anyone under 18 years old is now in effect.” From the surface, I didn’t think it would be accurate as I encountered it randomly, and it did not contain a source, but after research and follow-up, the story turned out to be accurate. https://twitter.com/DailyLoud/status/1636952352438591488
I encountered a tweet that discussed the Dallas Cowboys’ pursuit of star WR Odell Beckham Jr. Rumors had been spreading all morning of a team that was “in the running” to get Beckham offering him a lowball offer of four million dollars to go and play for the Dallas Cowboys. The tweet came from a Dallas Cowboys beat writer containing an emoji of a woman holding her hand up and posing the question, “who thinks the Dallas Cowboys are the team that offered OBJ four million?” Many fell into the rumors of it being the Cowboys, but OBJ himself eventually went out and tweeted his confusion about where anyone had gotten that quote from since he hadn’t said anything like that. This was a great example of how trivial inaccuracies can be pushed as facts, even by people you should trust for objective news.
Since the only social media I have is Twitter, I’ve done everything I could to eliminate as much misinformation and inaccuracy as possible. It became difficult to find more questionable press as I went through my 24-hour media diet. However, just before bed, I received another email notification from my Gmail account. This email read, “ALFRED congrats”; however, when I clicked on the email, I was immediately informed that it was a spam email and needed to be removed from my email list, which I did before heading off to bed.
Completing this media diet was an exciting experience because, as mentioned above, my only social media is Twitter, which contains only a select few people. I was under the impression that due to my efforts to restrict my social media use, I was minimizing the amount of misinformation I was consuming, and maybe I still am; However, I see that as long as I am spending time on any of these sites, it’s inevitable to encounter misinformation, whether spewed intentionally or not.